Monday, January 30, 2012

Shadow's Stand

Shadow's Stand by Sarah McCarty is a great addition to the Hell's Eight series.  Shadow Ochoa is one of the 8 boys who survived the massacre that decimated his village and he has grown up secure in their bonds with each other.  His prior actions have made him a danger to the rest of the group and he has decided to leave rather than endanger his twin brother and the rest of his family of the heart.  Fei Yen Tseng finds herself in need of a protector and thinks that Shadow may be just desperate enough to help a mixed breed such as herself.  The two must fight society's opinion as well as the circumstances they find themselves in as they struggle to survive in the harsh environment surrounding the West as the railroads are forced across the land.  An enthralling addition to the series (hopefully the plethora of typos in the ARC have been removed).  My Amazon review is at this link
as ELF2060.  I would appreciate a yes vote if you like the review (-:
(And yes, Mary, the cowboy hunk on the cover does have a head and it is in print form!)

I received a free copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Jungle Inferno

Jungle Inferno by Desiree Holt has to be my favorite of all of the works that I have read by her thus far.  It combines suspense, erotica, hunky alpha males, an injured hero relying on the only person he can trust and a resourceful intelligent heroine...what more can you ask for?  The only drawback is that it is only in e-form right now.  I really want a print copy to put on my overburdened keepers shelf!  Amazon review

I won a copy of one of Ms Holt's backtitles last year and after much agonizing, I elected to ask for the third in her Phoenix Agency series, Delicious DangerAmazon review for Delicious Danger  That one impressed me so much that I decided to go back and start with the first one.  I am glad that I did!  My only drawback is that the price is a little steep for me since they are e-books and it seems a little steep for something I can't actually put on my shelf.  Sigh.  I guess I will have to work the other two into my book budget because, judging by the first two that I have read...they are well worth reading!

I purchased a copy of this title for my personal enjoyment.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

“A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing” by Terry Spear continues the saga of the Greymere werewolf pack which has relocated to Oregon after the life changing events that caused them to leave their long-term locale in California.  Meara is temporarily alone but Finn Emerson suspects that she is about to become a target for an assassin out to kill her brother, Hunter, his SEAL comrade.  Meara has never found the wolf that she has wanted to mate but some of that she blames on her overprotective brother so she plans to take advantage of his absence by inviting males to stay at the cabins she is renting out.  Finn has his own opinion about Meara’s plans, especially once even more alpha males start appearing as well as assassins who apparently have no trouble finding the attractive alpha female.  His attraction to her makes him reconsider his own peripatetic lifestyle as he fights to keep the stubborn female safe from mysterious males such as Bjornolf while defending his claim against the subleader wolves who may also have an interest in her.  Shared danger and mutual passion cause Finn and Meara to face a few major decisions about where they want their lives to go, especially since Meara keeps sending out mixed signals when the other wolves try to flirt with her.  They will have to stay alive long enough to work out their relationship and its impact on Hunter and the rest of the pack.

An entertaining light read that gives a glimpse of some of the members of the Greymere pack as they deal with the reorganization that has occurred.  Finn is an attractive alpha male and not used to staying in one place but he feels a strong sense of responsibility for his SEAL teammates.  Meara is vaguely dissatisfied with her life and has decided that it time to take matters in her own hands but must remember her status within the pack when making her decision.  The mysterious alpha males that seem to come out of the woodwork and the uncharacteristic actions of some of her pack members make Meara a bit unsure which seems to contradict her alpha status but the story is still a nice mixture of suspense and paranormal elements, albeit a little choppy.  Perhaps a familiarity with all of the previous books in the series would help give a deeper perspective.

I received a free copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oracle's Moon

My review isn't live yet on Night Owl but I really enjoyed Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison.  The puzzlement when the powerful Djinn Khalil interacts with the Oracle Grace (introduced in the previous tale, Serpent's Kiss) and the hilarious results of his encounters with her orphaned niece give the story excellent light spots.  A different perspective is given for the prickly Oracle herself as the reader and the arrogant Djinn get to see more of her life.

The following is from my Night Owl Review, the link will be added for the complete post once it is live but this should whet your appetite for now (-:

"A fantastic and enthralling addition to the series.  Harrison continues to weave her magical spell that combines realistic occurrences and pragmatic concerns with mystical beings who learn that there are compromises that still need to be made even if one is an immortal being with unimaginable powers.  The snarky repartee and enchanting confusion generated by an immortal and immensely powerful entity being faced with childish logic make this another entertaining read that will provide a whirlwind ride through a world peopled by vampyres, griffons, djinn and the like.  Make sure you don’t start this unless you don’t have anywhere to go or anything else to do because it will grab your attention and keep you hostage until the end comes all too soon.  Another very enjoyable read."

Thank you to Netgalley for making it available to read...alas for too short a time!
I received a free copy (temporarily) of this title in return for an honest review.

Emily March/Geralyn Dawson freebie for the weekend

Just in time for the weekend...
Here's a heads up for historical readers.  THE KISSING STARS is currently free at Amazon.  This one was a 4 1/2 star Top Pick from Romantic Times magazine when it was released in print.  I don't know how long the free price will last, so if you want it, don't delay.  Here's the link.
Don't forget that you don't need to own a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks.  Just download the free Kindle app from Amazon and read the books on your computer.
Have a great weekend!

Third Gemma Halliday title for free

Gemma Halliday is giving away FREE BOOKS all month long!
Pick up the latest FREE book, HOLLYWOOD CONFESSIONS on Amazon Kindle:
(If you don’t own a Kindle, you can still get the free book by downloading the free Kindle app for your MAC, PC, ipad, iphone, Blackberry, Android, or Windows Phone 7.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Perfect Storm connections

It's amazing.  I posted my review about Lori Foster's A Perfect Storm a few days ago ( link) and I woke up one morning and discovered that quite a few people (for me) had looked at it!  I was flabbergasted because I have no idea how they found it.  I have a very small number of followers (and I greatly appreciate every one of you...although I am never sure whether it would be nosy to ask how some of you found me so I reluctantly refrain) and I am always amazed to see the different countries that pop up when somebody from that country evidently visits.  It is a puzzle to me how someone in Guatemala or Serbia or Russia or Germany or some other country finds my blog. Hopefully one of these days some of those visitors will make comments so I can interact with them directly!  

Anyway, I was gratified to realize that some people were reading the review because I was very disappointed to realize that I hadn't requested to review the title for Night Owl Reviews in time and it had already been assigned to someone else!  That is one of the drawbacks to using causes a bit of confusion because some of us go wandering there and request titles directly and of course the authors in high demand get requested by several people.  I pondered about what to do because I feel it is important to repay the gift of having received the title early by publicizing it as much as possible (especially because I really liked this book!) and I know that not many know about my blog.  It occurred to me that I could post it on my Goodreads shelf.

I usually try not to put my Night Owl review books on Goodreads because I think that it could be a conflict of interest, especially if the review isn't 'live' yet on Night Owl's site.  (Publishers like the reviews to be released right around the same time as the book is so sometimes I read a book 2 or 3 months before its release so I am 15 or so books past by the time the review actually gets posted to the public...and I forget to go back to put the review on Goodreads).  Now I have started transferring some of my reviews to Amazon (it turns out that I can use my Night Owl reviews provided I give them the proper credit) and I am slowly watching my ranking improve...which evidently happens when people push the 'yes, this was a helpful review' button.  I had been slow to post reviews on Amazon because I thought I would have to write a fresh review that was entirely different from the one already submitted to Night my problem will be keeping track of when reviews can be accepted for books that I have read in advance.

Ok...back to why I was so excited.  I received a 'like' on my Goodreads shelf for my review of A Perfect Storm.  That was nice.  What was even better was who it was from!!!!   The author herself!!!  What a thrill to know that Lori Foster read my review and liked it.  I will be in a happy haze for awhile  (-:   So hopefully, your interest is piqued and you will read the book for is well worth it!  Hmm....I guess I should go post it on my Library Thing shelf also....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What they say vs. what they mean

I happened to wander through a website that I visit periodically and discovered that a chat was being held tonight.  My worst problem with chats is that I get started doing something else and promptly forget until the chat is either in session or has finished!  So, I THOUGHT it said that all of these authors would be there and I have read books by several of them so I thought I'd stick my nose into the chatroom...and then I only saw about 10 names listed.  None of which I recognized as an author.  So I left and looked again at the notice for the chat to make sure I was in the right place.  Then I returned to the chatroom.  Well, one author showed up and was actually delightful but none of the names that I recognized were present.  Further investigation reveals that the authors are "invited" but that doesn't mean they will actually be there.  I will have to learn how to interpret these things better.  I did enjoy the chat and I will be looking at the future schedule but I think it might be better if they actually say that the author MIGHT be present.  Just a thought.

Heir of Danger by Alix Rickloff

Heir of Danger is Alix Rickloff's exciting conclusion to her Heirs of Kilronan trilogy.  The books were a little difficult for me to keep track of who and what was going on, especially since the bad guy somehow shifts into being someone worth redeeming and the artifacts being chased seemed to change location or importance or accessibility abruptly.  Confusing?  I thought so but there were definitely good aspects to the trilogy.  An imaginative concept is the overall linking element, some of the characters are appealing, there are nice sensual scenes and the setting is intriguing.  I thought this was the best of the series although it was a little drawn out at the end (yes, I like immediate gratification!)

Amazon review link

I received a free copy of this title in return for an honest review.

Survey from Casablanca Authors blog w/giveaway

There's a survey for romance readers on the Casablanca Authors blog at this link
5 people will win a book!

For those who can't remember which authors this includes...there are some exceptionally talented people with fascinating books, e.g. C.H. Admirand  (Tyler, Dylan), Cheryl Brooks (Stud, Virgin, and other Zetithian tales, etc.), Mary Margaret Daughtridge (SEALed Forever, SEALED With a Kiss, etc.) and many others.  I have the honor to have been quoted by Ms Daughtridge on her website and on the back cover of one of her books!  I am also reading A Wolf in SEAL's Clothing by Ms Terry Spear and will supply my review in a few days!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Novels vs. novellas

Ok, if you can't tell by the name of the blog...I like to read.  I expend quite a bit of effort to support the habit, have well-used library cards for two different library systems, enter contests in hopes that I will win books, review books (I will have to figure out how to work the Amazon system so that I can start receiving books from them) and, when all else fails, I buy them!  That being said, I am a little frustrated by the trend toward novellas.  I realize that they are quicker to write but the corollary is that they are also quicker to read and somehow, less satisfying to me because the story is condensed and there is less depth.  I realize that sometimes there are multiple novellas which combine to make a novel, kind of the way serials were once published in newspapers or magazines, but it is irksome to me.  I find it even more frustrating to try to figure out whether an e-book is a novel or something shorter.  KB size or word count don't really translate for me and sometimes it seems that price isn't reflective of length of work so that can get really sticky.  I realize that other people may disagree because they like quickie reads but just as I prefer print books to e-books, I really prefer novels to novellas!  Just to be contrary however, I don't like novels that are 500 pages or more.  Why?  Not only do they take forever to finish, but my wrists usually hurt from the weight, lol.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz, exploring new venues

Copper Beach is the first of Jayne Ann Krentz's 'Dark Legacy' series.  Similar to her 'Arcane Society' books, this novel centers on crystals and their utilization in paranormal manipulation.  Krentz effortlessly creates heroines who have overcome disdain and rejection from those who should have supported them yet have managed to hone their skills and become contributing members of society and Abby is no exception.  The combination of arcane elements, suspense and romance always make these novels entertaining reads.  There is a great scene where her investigator/bodyguard gets into a technical discussion with their attacker in typical geek fashion.  It is unclear whether these books will intersect with the Arcane Society books but there are definite similarities in the series.  My Goodreads review is at this link

Even though I have not quite figured out how to refine my blog yet, I have gotten distracted by a couple of other sites.  I have received several invitations from Linked In but haven't really paid a lot of attention to them until recently.  I was a little startled to follow one of the e-mail links and discover that I had connections to friends, family and authors.  It is a little creepy to me that the site was looking through my e-address book and I am constantly reminded of the "big brother" fears that used to be prevalent in the sci-fi books of several decades ago.   That is one of the drawbacks to all of the social media sites, all of the information that gets instantly disseminated.  As the saying goes, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you"

(I don't know if the FTC blogger's rules insist on knowing this as well, but I read a library copy for this review)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday 56 (courtesy of Shiloh Walker)

Instructions were (from this blog site:)

About the Friday 56

  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
  • Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
  • Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.
Results:  "She damn well better look like you."  from "Jace:  The Shadow Wranglers" by Sarah McCarty

(which happens to be on the top of the to be reviewed stack...)

Jeri Smith-Ready online party 1/25/12

Jeri Smith-Ready has fascinating and imaginative stories including the trilogy that started with Shade, Shift and Shine (which will be released in May).  She is holding a "TeamKilt" party on Burns Night (as in Robbie Burns)...and everyone is invited.  TeamKilt invitation
Unfortunately, I don't 'Tweet' so I won't be participating but it sounds like it could be fun for those of you who do.

The Shade trilogy:
This young adult series is emotionally intense and a very imaginative treatment of ghosts and the angst of leaving childhood.  The intense world of the music industry and the passionate emotionalism that only youth can bring to their interests is brilliantly conveyed in both books that are fantastic reads.  My Goodreads reviews are at these links...Shade and Shift
Looking forward to May and the end of the trilogy!

Delilah Devlin freebie! For adults only.

For adults only

A note from Delilah...

Happy New Year!  Strokes, my very own short story anthology, released on January 16, 2012!  I'm rather proud of this collection.  It's got a little bit of everything so you are sure to find something to your taste.  Available for pre-order, Lone Heart goes on SALE on January 31, 2012. Be sure to pre-order or buy that week to get the special new release week discount!

For the next three days, starting just after midnight tonight (Pacific time) and ending Sunday at midnight, Strokes will be available for download for free at!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Rocky Road to Romance

The Rocky Road to Romance by Janet Evanovich is a re-release and is a delightful screwball comedy.  There are wonderfully zany situations, especially as the rich station owner tries to impress the heroine.  I am a little disappointed that there is an attempt to make the book look longer than it actually is by increasing the font size.  It would seem to me that those books which were originally released as part of the Loveswept series during the 1990s should be priced a little lower and this particular title was re-released in 2004 as well (with a different cover) so I think that some readers would understandably be upset to be purchasing the same title over and over.  That being said, the story itself is a great read for raising your spirits, the quirky characters (a pistol-packing geriatric with a tank of a car, an Old English Sheepdog who has definite ideas on what is acceptable) really add spice to what was undoubtedly a formulaic light romance and this was a an enjoyable read.  My Night Owl review is at this link

Gemma Halliday title for free

The next Gemma Halliday is available for free:

To get your FREE book, follow this link:

Or go to and search for "Hollywood Secrets". There are TWO versions of Hollywood Secrets on Amazon - one that is free just for Prime members to borrow and one that is free for everyone to download and keep. To make sure that you have the free-for-everyone version, check the formats box and click on the Kindle format that says "$0.00".
And don’t forget to come back and download Book#3 in the series, HOLLYWOOD CONFESSIONS, starting on January 27th!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster

A Perfect Storm by Lori Foster is the latest in her enjoyable series about the mercenaries (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor) who have taken on those who perpetrate the heinous crimes of sex trafficking.  Arizona is a young woman who was rescued from one such horrible situation by Jackson Savor but has never really had a normal life.  She has been gathered into the family consisting of Jackson, his partners and their respective mates but still feels the burning need to avenge herself as well free other victims caught in the same horrific trap.  Spencer Lark is a bounty hunter who has crossed paths with the tight-knit group and Arizona feels that he stole her revenge away when he dealt with the woman in charge of one of the horrible organizations.  Spencer is startled to discover that the emotionally damaged young woman has blossomed into an adult who has honed her skills with all manner of lethal weapons but hasn’t quite healed from the damages to her psyche.  His protective instincts war with his attraction to the female that he feels is too young and fragile for his own self-protective style of personal relationships.  Spencer has his own demons to fight and scars of his own to deal with but Arizona just might force them to find a way to heal each other even as they search for a comfortable working relationship with Jackson and and his colleagues.

A great addition to a very entertaining series about extremely competent mercenary men who have made it their mission to free as many victims and destroy as many sex and forced labor trafficking rings as possible.  Arizona is an enchanting mixture of competent self-confident fighter (I thought I had a lot of things necessary for being prepared in my car trunk!) and insecure damaged former victim.  Spencer is a rough-edged protector who wants to compensate for some of the horrors that she has experienced yet has his own issues, not least of which is dealing with Arizona’s self-appointed guardian and colleagues.  A testament to the healing power of taking action to combat or eliminate past traumas and the importance of a good support group.  A sizzling and heart-warming read that also gives cameos of favorites from the previous stories in the series (2- and 4-footed) while drawing a beautiful portrait of courage.

I would greatly appreciate a 'yes, this was helpful' vote for my Amazon review under ELF2060 at this link  if you are willing!

I was briefly loaned a copy of this title from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Naked Edge by Pamela Clare

Naked Edge by Pamela Clare is one of her I-team series that centers on a mystery surrounding land held sacred by Native Americans.  There are several very realistic descriptions of rockclimbing without using safety equipment and a couple of chilling examples of the possible results of falling off a mountain.  The story is intriguing with beautiful descriptions of the natural beauty that inspires rockclimbers, a mystery, and a sizzling romance between two people who come from different culture paradigms.  Little did I realize that the author comes by her descriptions honestly, having done her own hiking through the Rockies and experiencing a horrific fall complete with very serious injuries.  A description in her own words is available on the Fresh Fiction site at this link.   It is a pretty impressive tale and almost an example of taking research a little too far...although I know it was not done deliberately.  It sure lends realism to her writing!  There is a pretty dramatic description in this book of the lengths that someone will go to in order to protect a loved one that makes my gut clench every time I read it.  My Night Owl review is here

I started this series backwards because I read Breaking Point first (after all, who can resist the eye candy on that cover combined with that blurb!) so I met the main characters of the earlier novels as a group first rather than piecemeal but I certainly have enjoyed the rich detail in all of the novels and the love stories are all heartwarming.

I purchased a copy of this title for my personal enjoyment.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Red Tail Heart

Red Tail Heart by Kenneth W. Williams reminds the reader of the inequities perpetrated that Dr. Martin Luther King is revered for having confronted and opposed.  The author provides glimpses of a time when Jim Crow laws and segregation continued to divide a society that was willing to accept the sacrifices provided by people of color but not to acknowledge their contribution.  The story is a bit awkward to read and has a disconcerting number of errors but offers interesting vignettes of the time with sprinklings of beautifully creative descriptions.  There are odd shifts in points of view and voices (particularly during the confrontation between the German soldier and the female Resistance fighter and the journal entries and letters which purportedly give insight into Roy's life and reason for his actions) and I struggled to finish the book but ultimately, it is a love story...just meanders around for awhile before it gets there.  There are a lot of injustices depicted in the book so it is particularly apropos that I read it near Martin Luther King Day.  I expected there to be much more detail about the Tuskegee Airmen so I was a bit disappointed but I did feel that there were redeeming elements to the story...provided one is patient enough to read the whole book.  My Night Owl Review is at this link

Seal of My Dreams...Act fast for .99 download

For those of you who read e-books....don't miss this bargain for a few hours only!!

Kindle Daily Deal, 99 cents (yes, 99 cents:)
SEAL of My Dreams (anthology)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

If you can't say something nice...what to do?

One of the worst things about being a reviewer is trying to figure out what to say when I really don't like a book.  I can usually find something nice to say but when I am completely frustrated by the end of the book, it is really difficult to avoid saying everything that I want to say.  I don't want to insult the author because this is just my opinion but I often wonder if I have read the same book that was read by those who are giving rave reviews.  I realize that we are all a product of our upbringing and everyone's sense of humor is different but sometimes I really have trouble with the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" adage.  My friends know that I tend to give my opinion (whether I'm asked for it or not) which is why I am so tough to have as a friend...I have worked hard on becoming more diplomatic but I tend to be honest.  I feel some responsibility as a reviewer to give my honest opinion but I also feel uncomfortable when the author (or his/her agent) has given me a copy and I think the work is awful.  What to say?  So I procrastinate.  I pick up another book and read it (and another, and another) while I ponder.  Sometimes I reach out to the author or publisher and ask if they want to know about overt errors that I have found (not usually) but that doesn't always go over well and there's no diplomatic way to ask, "do you want to know why your book doesn't seem to make sense?".  Reactions range from, "that's why I have an editor" to "well, there's nothing I can do about it" to "yes, please!".  I'm really not trying to be insulting but some authors seem to take it that way.  So, reluctantly, I write my review.

I try to accentuate the positive...yet I as a reader would be really annoyed at spending my hard-earned money on a book that is choppy, full of errors (grammatical, typographical, logical) or I try to find some middle ground.  Be warned...if my review states that something is an adequate light read, I probably think there are inconsistencies and I wasn't terribly intrigued by the story!  But that's just my opinion--you should decide for yourself.

On a personal note...Happy Birthday to my younger (but not smaller) brother!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gemma Halliday freebies

It's so wonderful that the giving just keeps on...

Remember that David Burrows' Drachar's Demons is available for free starting today (see previous post) but for a limited time only.

Gemma Halliday is giving away her 'Hollywood Headlines' series over the next few weeks...starting with (in her own words from her newsletter)

"To kick off 2012 I’m giving away FREE books for EVERYONE all month long!
This month I’ll be giving away the entire Hollywood Headlines series for FREE (yes, absolutely free, no strings attached, no contest to enter) on Amazon Kindle, starting with book #1 Hollywood Scandals. Here’s the freebie schedule:
Free NOW thru Jan 17th: Hollywood Scandals"  - link


Left Hand Magic by Nancy A. Collins


Left Hand Magic is Nancy A. Collins' sequel to Right Hand Magic, both of which are novels about Golgotham, a neighborhood outside of Manhattan.  Funny thing about neighborhoods, one can be a 'native' or an upstart and it varies by region how long it takes to change from being somebody new on the block (months, years, decades) to one of the regulars.  This neighborhood is a little more exclusive than most...exclusive in the sense of not generally including those who are human!  The inhabitants who look human are usually Kymeran, have an extra finger and are able to perform magic whereas the other inhabitants definitely are non-humans (centaurs, leprechauns, mermaids, satyrs, etc.).  Funny how easy it is to depict the rapidity with which anyone can divide into an "us vs. them" mentality and frightening possibility of violence inherent in most conflicts of this nature. 
There are a lot of creative meldings of human and magic in these stories, and in my opinion there has been an improvement between the first and second novels but there are still elements which are underdeveloped.  I am glad that the heroine has started to show some backbone, enjoyed seeing improvement in some of the relationships but think that several things could be expounded upon...e.g. the dragon in the bedroom, Hexe's familiar, etc.  An entertaining series that will undoubtedly continue to grow.  My Night Owl reviews for Left Hand Magic is at this link and Right Hand Magic is at this link.  Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cozy Mystery Giveaway

I have been following a blog called Escape With Dollycas Into a Good Book at this link   and she hosted a giveaway for a cozy mystery, An Appetite for Murder:  A Key West Food Critic Mystery by Lucy Burdette,  that the author says is similar to the cooking mysteries (that I love) by Diane Mott Davidson so of course that caught my attention.  The giveaway runs until January 25 and can be found here

Monday, January 9, 2012

Drachar's Demons by David Burrows, limited time offer!

Those of you who would like to be introduced to the prequel for Prophecy of the Kings are in for a treat for a limited time only!  The author is offering a free read!
<<Don't forget the FREE kindle ebook of Drachar's Demons from the 13th January 2012 for 3 days - only!!>>

Read about it at this link

The trilogy itself is available for a discount until the end of the month at this link

Friday, January 6, 2012

Deceiver and C.J. Cherryh

Deceiver by C.J. Cherryh is another of my recent sci-fi reads and reminded me of how much I enjoy her facility at world-building.  Fortunately, in addition to all of the greats who formed the basis for science fiction literature today, there are plenty of wonderful authors who continue expanding our universe with their vision.  Ms Cherryh peoples her Foreigner series with humans and aliens who have a very strict system of interactions that are gradually altering their perspective of each other's society.  There are so many dangerous pitfalls possible due to ignorance of mores and conventions and it is virtually impossible to completely mimic the body movements and expressions but that adds to the complexity of the universe being described.  It takes awhile to immerse oneself in the society, especially if it has been several years since reading previous books in the series but it is well worth the effort.  It was a little irksome but not unexpected to have the political machinations unresolved by the end of the book but fortunately the sequel, Betrayer, is already published and #13 in the series, Intruder, is to be released in March of this year.  My Night Owl Review is at this link

Those who enjoy this series should also look for Cherryh's Chanur series, her Cyteen books are very intense and she also has a nice fantasy series with a 'Fortress' theme. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I, Robot: to protect

I, Robot: to protect is an excellent revisiting of the world that Isaac Asimov created.  Those of us who remember the awe and fascination with robots that the great man created in his readers are thrilled that Dr. Mickey Zucker Reichert has devoted her creative skills to playing in that universe.  The onerous procedure of becoming an accredited physician is touched upon (although it seems that in the future there is some improvement in the ridiculously intense scheduling wrought upon interns and residents) and the joys and heartbreaks of dealing with the lives that are changed by diagnoses and treatments is described.  There are fascinating psychological and medical pediatric cases examined in addition to the exploration of the assets and fears engendered by the presence of an entity with artificial intelligence.  Some of the thorny logic problems posed by the Three Laws of Robotics ("1.  A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.  2.  A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.  3.  A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law") are explored with interesting ramifications postulated.  A great start to an intriguing series.  My review at Night Owl is at this link

It's amazing what memories this book brought back as I went through an intense period of time when I voraciously read the works of Asimov, Heinlein, Norton, Silverberg, Clarke, Zelazny, and others.  It was remarkable to think of life on the moon, time-travel, grokking, and all of those other mind-stretching concepts.  We have made incredible strides since then...hopefully we will continue to advance and not stagnate in place while we play petty games and forget what accomplishments we can achieve if we cooperate with each other.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another freebie, contest reminder and YIPPEEE!!!!

As usual, I spend more time than I should entering contests but for those who like inspirational books, Angela Benson is offering a free copy of her work, Awakening Mercy, at this link
(which I found at the Fresh Fiction contest site)

Don't forget to browse through the rest of the great giveaways the Fresh Fiction site offers!  link

For those of you who are skeptical of whether people actually win any of these contests...I have the great pleasure to have won books and a giftcard from the "Smutketeers" (R.G. Alexander, Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin, Karen Erickson and Crystal Jordan).  I am sorry to say that I haven't read books by all of these authors but I found the website by looking up Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin after I reviewed her book Desire's Edge (fanning self rapidly).  I was pleased to remember that I already had the previous book in the series (Pleasure's Edge) on my teetering TBR pile because this was a smoking hot and enjoyable read.  My Night Owls review is at this link
I have read Ms. Jordan's sensual offerings in various anthologies but I don't think I have read any of Ms Alexander or Ms Erickson's works.

Anyway, thanks to the prize, I will soon rectify my lack and become acquainted with the others...once I can get through some of my review books!

A heads up to all of you Jennifer Estep fans who were mourning the temporary end of the Gin Blanco series...By a Thread was a great beginning to the new story arc...although I was tired after reading about her "vacation"!  My review should be up in a couple of weeks.